I could write about Stanford or BC, but no…

Let's see those ass-kicking cowboy boots, Coach.

It’s been almost a month since I wrote anything about Notre Dame, although I have talked about the Irish in the tournament in our podcast. Previously, I was cranky about Notre Dame’s loss to UConn in the Big East tournament, but apparently that was good for the Irish. They got some time “off,” and they came back strong for the NCAA tournament.

This season was sort of reminiscent of 2007. It’s been a shaky couple of months, possibly tempered for me by Penn State’s stutter-stop 2010. Knaack was dropped from the roster, the freshmen settled in (right? At least a few of them did), and the senior class has returned to the Final Four. As a four-seed, they sliced through New Mexico, returned to proper Irish form against USC, thrashed top-seeded UNC in North Carolina, and survived again on the road against Oklahoma State. This has been a really, really good run for the Irish after a challenging season. Given the spanking they gave the Tar Heels, I would say that although this season isn’t over yet, it’s been a success.

On Friday, Notre Dame meets Ohio State in the 4 p.m. (ET) semifinal. ESPN2/ESPNU should be carrying the game, as well as ESPN3.com. That’s right, the webcast is for Notre Dame-Ohio State, not Stanford-Boston College (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2/ESPNU). Four different conferences are represented, two schools are hitting a consecutive Final Four, and two are in their first semifinal. There are very few ways that a tournament in North Carolina without UNC can go wrong, and with the Irish in the mix, there are a lot of ways it can go right.

Episode 20 – Kaley Keeley Kelley

We have a (somewhat) brief episode for this week! This is a chance to discuss the final four before they play this weekend.

Music

  • “Une Americaine a Paris” – Rupa & the April Fishes
  • “Take ‘Em Up” – Shit Robot
  • “Pretty Girl Rock (remix; feat. Kanye West)” – Keri Hilson
  • “I’ve Been Trying” – DJ Shadow

NCAA

  • Georgetown-OSU (2-0)
  • Notre Dame-OK State (2-0)
    • Both goals by a freshman
      • Elizabeth Tucker
  • BC-Washington (1-0 in OT)
  • Stanford-FSU (5-0)
    • 5 different scorers
  • Final Four -1,2,3,4 seeds
    • Stanford-BC
      • BC’s first final four
      • Stanford’s 3rd consecutive
    • Notre Dame-Ohio State
      • OSU are first timers
      • ND’s 5th consecutive, 12th overall
      • OSU-ND have met five times previously, ND winning them all (last in 02)

USWNT

  • Job done, for now
  • Have the necessary messages been received?
    • Did the lineup change? There was no Alex Morgan…

WPS

  • Mark Washo (DC GM) steps down
    • “Washo leaves Freedom to join Playbook Management International as its Managing Partner. Playbook Management International (PMI) is a full-service sports and entertainment agency, founded by former FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park General Manager, Michael Hitchcock.”
  • Western NY
    • Picks up Kaley Fountain & Beverly G.

“Can Twitter save women’s soccer?”

If you are on Twitter and in the women’s soccer community, you have heard the rumblings of a hashtag-slash-trending-topic movement to draw attention to the USWNT game versus Italy on November 27. ESPN3.com will be carrying the webcast, and folks want to prove to ESPN that people give a damn about the game.

I understand why women’s soccer fans expect and demand more of ESPN and other major media outlets when it comes to coverage of the sport. I don’t necessarily agree, as I’ve said in previous entries, but I get it. When the internal media production stagnates and is unwilling to evolve, it’s time to beg for outside help. It’s also time to take matters into your own hands.

I do believe in the power of Twitter, particularly in the hands of players and fans. I do believe this game needs to be watched by casual fans of US soccer. And I think it’s really important that fans are exposed to the background of how the USWNT ended up in the mess they’re in. I think it’s important that fans be dissatisfied with the lack of media coverage both internal and external, because in a way, that played a part in the past six or so years of complacency.

Of the two of us here at Cross-Conference, I am probably the wrong one to be writing this post. But I was asked, as a women’s soccer blogger, and even though I don’t root for the USWNT, I do admire the initiative. If you get enough people talking about and pushing for change, becoming part of the change, you have a better chance of effecting it.

Use #uswnt when you tweet about the game, and tweet often. This isn’t just about the national team–it’s about women’s soccer in the US.

Or it’s about Alex Morgan. Who can say, for sure?

Episode 19 – Punishment Is Imminent

In our latest episode, recorded Wednesday, the NCAA D-1 women’s soccer tournament causes tears, exaustion and pain. The US Women’s National Team will play in Italy. FC Gold Pride is gone, but WPS soldiers on.

Action Items:

  • Give us a mystery to solve. Send your mysteries to crossconference@gmail.com.
  • Rate us on iTunes.

Music:

  • “Down By the Water (Skinny Friedman remix)” –  The Drums
  • “All That” – A1
  • “Girl, Here’s Another Lie” – Ultimate Fakebook
  • “Sandcastle Disco” – Solange

NCAA Tournament!

  • Seeds out
    • Maryland
      • Wake is, too – FYI, ACC (conf. tournament finalists)
    • Portland
      • Who’s fault?
        • Mine
        • Garrett’s
        • Everyone’s (for booting Sweeney)
  • Stanford
  • UC Irvine – All the way
  • UND @ UNC
    • Against USC, Notre Dame looked like a real Irish team for the first time this season
  • St. Mary’s senior goalkeeper on SMC’s season and last game against Portland

USWNT

  • Italy trip
    • They’ve never won in Italy
    • Hope Solo says your statistics mean nothing
  • DiMartino, Osborne, Tarpley
  • Everyone is gushing about the performance of the young players on the USMNT against South Africa. Like, you know, DEVELOPMENTAL PLAYERS.
    • Yeah, they were excellent. And 4 years away from the next world cup.
    • This is astonishing and innovative and I’m not sure we’ve ever seen such a thing on the women’s side!

WPS

  • Bye, bye, bye FC Gold Pride?
    • No investors
    • A survivable loss for the WPS. DC? not so much.
  • Chicago?
  • Western New York is a go. Keeping “Flash”
  • I have thinky thoughts about advertising/fan involvement
    • Sort of along the lines of the old WNBA t-shirt design contest, but more extensive than that – like a marketing angle, but the league would have to give the fans access to high-quality images.

Interview: Kelsey Davis

I don’t think it’s a big secret that Ruth and I really like Kelsey Davis.  We’ve mentioned it before on the blog and possibly in every episode of our podcast.  When the opportunity to talk to Kelsey came up, we jumped on it, and I worked through the night to make the episode available for you today

Kelsey Davis (Photo by ohhh_yeah80)

Kelsey had a lot to say about the 2006 US team that competed in the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, which is a particular topic of interest to Ruth and I, and what she said about that team and the coach surprised me.

In a Bleacher Report interview, Kelsey discusses some of her charitable work with the Ronald McDonald House, and we talked with her about that as well. Since the end of the season, she’s worked with teammate Natalie Spilger’s GreenLaces.

Kelsey was a Theology major at Portland, and she explained her interest in the topic quite passionately and eloquently.  Speaking personally, I think I could have asked her to keep talking about religious writers for a good hour.

It’s rare to have an engaging conversation about so many interesting topics with someone you admire. Talking with Kelsey was a real honor and a pleasure and I hope we get to do it again.

Kelsey on Twitter.

Writers mentioned in the interview:
Thomas Merton
Wendell Berry
Brennan Manning
Anne Lamott
Henri Nouwen
Jay Bakker
C.S. Lewis
St. Augustine
Julian of Norwich
(my small plug for David Dark)

Episode 18 – The Integrity of Our Podcast

Spectacular.

It seems that almost any shocking news that could happen in women’s soccer happened this past week. Except for evil twins and secret pregnancies. For now, I think. But we have a new episode.

Music

  • “Sweet Marie” – The Anniversary
  • “Rye Whiskey” – Punch Brothers”
  • “I’m Not Your Toy (DatA Remix)” – La Roux
  • “Need To Be” – Babbletron

Drinks

  • Ruth: Gin & tonic
  • Joan: Rye whiskey + ginger ale + lemon

CONCACAF Qualifying

  • CANvTrinidad
  • CANvGUY
    • N’Sinc
  • CANvMEX
    • Sinc does not need to score for Canada to play well.
  • MEXvGUY
    • HI MARIBEL. Hi.
  • Mexico = muy bueno
  • CANvCRC
  • USAvHaiti
    • 5-0 snorefest
  • USAvGuatemala
    • “ALEX MORGAN”
  • USAvCRC
    • Whatevs.
  • USAvMEX
  • shit sandwich.
    • The US mentality was that they had already qualified. They needed this wake-up call. They didn’t treat this game like a must-win and when they went down early, they had no idea what to do.
    • Tony DiCicco on US development.
    • It was no fluke. Cuellar has stuck with this team for ever, and it’s paying off for him.
  • USAvCRC
    • On ESPN2 and ESPN360: Nov. 8, 2010 @ 6 p.m. ET

NCAA

  • UND vs UConn
    • Mystery Team: Taylor Knaack was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. She remains enrolled at Notre Dame and is on track to graduate in the spring.
  • SCU = WTF this time
    • Lost 2-0 to LMU on Senior Day, lost to Pepperdine today 3-2.
  • Portland
    • Tied SMC 1-1.
    • Still wins WCC
  • PAC-10
    • Stanford clinches.
  • ACC

WPS

Call to action!

Episode 17 – Rival Schools United By Podcasts

Kendall Johnson and Maxine Goynes

New Episode! Recorded October 27,2010 and it is alive with lengthiness! This is our first proper episode since the UP-SCU project. We had a lot to say about the game this year and the coverage from ESPNU.

(About the title: If you don’t know what Rival Schools means you should be ashamed to not know and spend time around pimply Best Buy employees who can tell you all about it.)

Full show notes after the jump: Read more of this post